PHOTOS! My First Time at Repticon!

Tampa Repticon February 2018

Repticon Tampa on February 24th – 25th, 2018 was my first-ever time at a reptile expo ๐ŸฆŽ๐Ÿข๐Ÿ. It was so awesome! I bought my VIP ticket online about six weeks before. The REASON I was originally going to go was to get a red foot tortoise hatchling. But after thinking about it more, I got cold feet about two weeks before Repticon & decided to go with my original choice of crested geckos instead. Crested geckos seemed both easy to care for & like a much better choice for my first pet reptile than a baby tortoise. Here’s where I wrote about why I decided on crested geckos ๐ŸฆŽ.
I had the gecko tank all set up, complete with a custom ABS plastic divider that took me an hour to make. (SPOILER ALERT! On my geckos’ first night, the two bigger ones managed to squish themselves over the top & into the unfurnished side of the cage. This rendered it useless so I had to remove it. Pets are like that ๐Ÿ™‚). I had the heat pad running & the humidity up. Everything was ready.
Here’s what I saw at my first expo & my observations (plus kewl emojis)!
  • First off, I bought my first three crested geckos! ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸฆŽ๐ŸฆŽ๐ŸฆŽ๐Ÿ’• I got them from Manatee Suncoast Lizards, which seemed like a really nice breeder. Read about my geckos here & see more pictures of them in this article here!
    My crested geckos when I got back in my car at Repticon
  • They had a cool blow-up snake out front that kids were taking pictures of ๐Ÿ“ธ.
    Tampa Repticon 2018
  • Reptile expos are like better versions of pet stores. The people selling you the pets are mostly the people who actually bred them, & can answer your questions better than most pet stores. The quality of the animals is also a lot higher ๐Ÿ‘, & the prices can be much lower ๐Ÿ’ต because you’re buying it directly from the breeder & there’s no middleman.
    Tampa Repticon 2018
  • It’s awesome being in an environment filled with people who are passionate about reptiles ๐Ÿ˜.
  • To let everyone know I was a VIP there, theyย gave me a tortoise hand stamp which was adorable!
    Tampa Repticon 2018 Tortoise Hand Stamp
    Tampa Repticon 2018 Tortoise Hand Stamp
  • SO MANY SKINNY PIGS! (AKA HAIRLESS GUINEA PIGS). One person had regular guinea pigs but it seemed like at least five were selling the hairless “skinny” guinea pigs. For some reason they were a really popular thing.
  • A large selection of chinchillas chillin’ (pun intended) in a cage. One was perched precariously at the edge of a shelf, sleeping, but it seemed perfectly comfortable ๐Ÿ˜ด. LOOK AT THEIR LITTLE CHINCHILLA FACES!
    Chinchillas at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Chinchillas at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Chinchillas at Tampa Repticon 2018
  • Tons of sugar gliders, including baby ones! I saw some really pretty white sugar gliders with a dark stripe down their backs, & some other sugar gliders eating fruit. ๐Ÿค— Their “crabbing” sound reminds me of a combination of a quiet angry squirrel ๐Ÿฟ๏ธ & the sound my guinea pigs make when they’re mad at each other.

  • A whole bunch of baby hedgehogs! ๐Ÿฆ”๐Ÿฆ”๐Ÿฆ” If I was still interested in getting a hedgie I would have been excited, because they were only $100. But MAN, are those things sharp ๐Ÿ˜ฎ. Especially when they bounce to poke you with their spikes. You can see me jerk away when it pokes me in the video below! They were all sleeping in a little prickly pile together, & they were adorable ๐Ÿ’ค.

    Baby Hedgehogs at Tampa Repticom 2018
  • More leopard geckos than you could shake a stick at.ย ๐ŸฆŽ It seemed like EVERYONE was selling leopard geckos. I saw some really beautiful mostly-white ones.
  • Awesome geckos! ๐ŸฆŽ๐ŸฆŽ๐ŸฆŽ SO MANY GECKOS! ๐ŸฆŽ๐ŸฆŽ๐ŸฆŽ The aforementioned leopard geckos, plus a reasonable number of crested geckos. But I also saw some really great Chahouas, Leachies, day geckos, gargoyle geckos, etc. Geckos are super-awesome.ย ๐ŸฆŽ
  • I got to hold a ๐Ÿฆ‰ rescued screech owl ๐Ÿฆ‰ from the Friends of Largo Nature Parks! (ARTICLE WITH MORE PHOTOS COMING SOON!) OWLS ARE MY FAVORITE & THIS WAS SO AWESOME! They had a Sulcata tortoise ๐Ÿข with a donation jar taped to its back. It was so awesome. The article has pictures of that too! (Also, I was so excited after holding an owl that I began walking away before I realized my gecko bag was still sitting on their table ๐Ÿ˜‚).
    Me Holding an Owl at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa Repticon
    Owl at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa Repticon
    Owl at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa Repticon
    Owl at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa Repticon
    Owl at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa Repticon
    Sulcata Tortoise with Donation Jar at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa Repticon
    Sulcata Tortoise with Donation Jar at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa RepticonLook at the little tortoise nose chilling in the bottom right corner too!
  • I got to pet a bearded dragon! I can’t remember the name of the vendor but they made custom stone-looking houses for reptiles. They had this awesome bearded dragon just chilling on a rock & people could pet it. The beardie was so docile & cute! Someone said their bearded dragon always got excited when they came home, like a dogย ๐Ÿค—.

  • There were so many beautiful snakes!ย ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ I wasn’t in the market for a snake so I didn’t spend too much time looking at them, but I saw some gorgeous ones. In my opinion, the most beautiful snake are the banana/candino morph-looking ball pythons. I saw plenty of those. I also saw some cute tiny snakes in cups. I watched vendors put the snakes in white mesh bags & speculated that if I ever get a snake it will totally ride in the cooler on the way home just in case it happens to escape from its mesh bag.
    Banana Ball Python Morph at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Banana Ball Python Morph at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Banana Ball Python Morph at Tampa Repticon 2018
  • Someone was selling pet roaches, which were pretty cool!
    Pet Cockroaches at Tampa Repticon 2018
  • There was someone with fancy bettas & cherry shrimp.ย ๐Ÿฆ I will totally have a shrimp tank someday ๐Ÿฆ!
  • One vendor had tiny cups with even tinier baby axolotls. I looked at the axolotls & was very glad I decided not to get one. I would have been too nervous about their water quality.
  • I saw piles of tiny ๐Ÿ pinky mice & fuzzy miceย ๐Ÿ huddled together. I took a photo of the fuzzies & the vendor said, “The pinkies are also cute.” They were precious, even though I know they will most likely become snake food. There were also a good number of people selling rats, both pet & feeder rats. I saw some really cute baby rats too!
    Baby Mice at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Pinky Mice at Tampa Repticon 2018

    Baby Rats at Tampa Repticon 2018

    Baby Rats at Tampa Repticon 2018
  • There was a cup filled with baby chicks ๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค. If I lived somewhere zoned for chicks, I would have bought them. I felt sorry for them because I knew that, like the baby mice, they would most likely be eaten.
  • So many people had ๐Ÿ•ท๏ธ tarantulas & scorpions ๐Ÿฆ‚. I heard a guy excitedly telling his father about how poisonous this one tarantula he was getting was & how nasty their bite was. He seemed to know a lot about tarantulas & he sounded like he just loved them. I heard a kid asking a vendor which species she recommended for a beginner. I saw some cute tiny tarantulasย ๐Ÿ•ท๏ธย that were only about the size of a penny!
  • I hoped to get millipedes ๐Ÿ› while I was at the expo. I spent a while looking for them, but didn’t see any. I saw a vendor that seemed focused on invertebrates, so I asked if he had millipedes. He said not right now.
  • TONS OF TORTOISES!ย ๐Ÿข๐Ÿข๐Ÿข I saw a huge number of baby red foots & other tortoises. There were also a variety of ages of tortoises. They were so cute. But I was still really glad not to get a tortoise (especially a fragile hatchling) as my first reptile. I freak out enough about my geckos; it would have been so much worse with a baby tortoise despite my obsessive research. There were also turtles. Someone was selling baby red-eared sliders for $10 & baby snapper turtles for $25. Baby snappers look pretty harmless but I know what they grow up to be ๐Ÿ˜‰. ๐Ÿข๐Ÿข๐Ÿข
    Tortoises at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Tortoises at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Tortoises at Tampa Repticon 2018
  • There are a lot of animals I WANT to buy, but I’m good at not impulse-buying themย ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ’ฏ
  • IF YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO GET A SPECIAL GOODY BAG BECAUSE YOU GOT A VIP TICKET, ASK FOR IT FIRST ๐Ÿ›๏ธโ˜น๏ธ. Big lesson here. I casually moseyed on over to the welcome booth after I was done looking around. “Is this where I get my bag of free stuff?” I asked. The lady looked at me sympathetically. “I’m sorry, we ran out of those.” I wasn’t offended, just a little disappointed. & I totally made a mental note to ask for it ASAP next time. I wonder what was in the bag.
Going to Repticon was super-awesome. I can’t wait to go back again!

FOG : A Zine

FOG: A Zine by Ashlee CraftMy camera lens fogged up one evening when I went to take a photograph of wild mushrooms that sprouted up in my yard. When I saw how the photo came out, I started taking pictures that night of a variety of things, just to see how they looked with a fogged lens. After the lens adjusted to the outdoor temperature, I breathed on it to keep it foggy & kept taking photographs. I was enthusiastically running back inside over the span of half an hour or so to gather more props, to do more experiments in how things looked in the fog. The fogginess made everything look fantastic & otherworldly & surreal & aesthetically marvelous.

The results of my photograph experiments are all contained in this book. There are four poems interspersed among the photos. The photos follow a progressive from the warm lightness of the beginning of sunset to the cool blue darkness of early twilight. The photos have not been altered in any way. How they came out is how they were taken.

The magic you see is real.

Publicationย Dateย //ย October 30, 2017
Paperbackย 63 Pages
Genreย //ย Zines, Photography
Poetry